The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports: "To be sure, coal imports in the U.S. are but a tiny sliver of coal consumption and of the problems facing the industry. More pressing concerns range from falling commodity prices, powerplant shutdowns, transportation constraints, and environmental regulations to competition from cheap natural gas."
"Still, there is something incongruous about the world’s richest coal nation seeing a spike in coal imports during a domestic and global glut."
"U.S. Census data shows coal imports in the U.S. increasing by 43 percent during the first six months of 2014, compared with the same period last year. Reports submitted by power plants to the Energy Information Administration follow the same trend and show it escalating. In July and August, two months not yet available in the Census data, power plants were already halfway to the total imports for the first six months of the year."